Kii Peninsula

The last of the five major ōji (smaller shrines along the Kumano Kodō) before Kumano Hongū Taisha, Hosshinmon-ōji marks the outer limits of the grand shrine's precincts and literally means 'spiritual awakening gate'. It's a small building, painted red, and has a stone torii.

From here it's a gentle 7.5km, mostly downhill hike to Kumano Hongū Taisha. Buses run from Hongū Taisha-mae stop to Hosshinmon-ōji (¥460, 15 minutes, seven daily April to November, five daily December to March).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kii Peninsula attractions

1. Tōkō-ji


This temple in the middle of Yunomine Onsen is just above Tsubo-yu Onsen, and like many hot springs adjacent to temples, is dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai,…

2. Kumano Hongū Taisha

2.01 MILES

Kumano Hongū Taisha is one of the Kumano Sanzan (three great shrines of Kumano) and if you're following the traditional pilgrim route, it's the first one…

3. Kumano Hongū Heritage Centre

2.18 MILES

Part museum, part visitor centre, this contemporary multimedia complex has exhibits about Kumano's culture and natural environment, plus English-speaking…

4. Ōtorii


In 2000 this giant torii (entrance gate to a Shintō shrine) – 33.9m tall and 42m wide, made out of steel, painted dramatic black and the largest in Japan …

5. Nachi-no-taki

12.53 MILES

At 133m, Nachi-no-taki is Japan's highest waterfall. It's the first of many still deeper in the Nachi mountains and has long been used in ascetic training.

6. Kumano Nachi Taisha

13.05 MILES

Built on the side of a mountain, facing the waterfall Nachi-no-taki, this shrine is one of Kii's most spiritual places, a site of ancient nature worship…

7. Seiganto-ji

13.06 MILES

This wooden temple, absent of colour and next to the Shintō shrine Kumano Nachi Taisha, was last rebuilt in 1590, making it the oldest building in Kii …

8. Takijiri-ōji

14.23 MILES

Takijiri-ōji is one of five major ōji (smaller shrines along the Kumano Kodō). It marks the beginning of the passage into the mountains and today serves…